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Girard rolls past JFK

September 15, 2013
By MATTHEW PEASLEE - Tribune Chronicle ( , Underthelights

WARREN - There's not many football coaches who will take solace in a loss. No consolation. No moral victories. But there are positives to take from shortcomings. For Girard, last week's defensive second-half performance against Hubbard carried over through the week into Saturday's non-conference showdown with John F. Kennedy.

The Indians pitched a shutout in the second half of that Hubbard game and used a pitch play to their advantage on offense against Kennedy. Behind another strong showing on defense, Girard downed the Eagles, 27-6, for its first win of the 2013 season.

"It's good to get the first one out of the way so we can celebrate like this," Indians coach Nick Cochran said as the band played and students spilled onto the Mollenkopf Stadium field. "It's fun. We just have to keep on getting better so we can get this feeling again."

Article Photos

Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple
Girard’s Treyvon Mills attempts to strip the ball out of the hands of John F. Kennedy’s Carl Zallow during Saturday’s game at Mollenkopf Stadium. The Indians shut out the Eagles for three quarters en route to a 27-6 victory.

The victory snapped a four-game losing streak dating back to last season. Girard's only win of 2012 was a 34-25 advantage over LaBrae in Week 7. This year, it lost to Niles by 19 points before nearly catching Hubbard.

"Everybody thought they were down but they played two really good teams coming into this one," said Kennedy coach Dave Pappada. "They completely outplayed us on all three phases of the game."

Girard (1-2) racked up 431 total yards (341 coming on the ground), limited the run-first Eagles (1-2) to 128 rushing yards and converted three extra points.

James Cupan led the Indians with three touchdowns and 185 yards on 22 carries. The scores came on runs of 1, 2 and 3 yards which put them up 20-0 by the end of the third quarter. Cupan's longest run was a 48-yard rumble on the first possession of the second half.

"Our running game was executing pretty well," Cupan said. "They have good defensive backs so we tried to keep it on the ground."

The Indians ran an option play 11 times that garnered over 90 yards.

"It's been a pretty good play for us," Cochran said. "(Quarterback) Nick (Cardiero) and Cupan do a quality job of running it. The offensive line did a better job on it. We'll keep on doing it and see what happens."

Cupan added, "We just had to read the ends and the outside backers. Nick made some really nice pitches."

Cardiero ran 28 times for 157 yards, with a long of 14. He scored with less than a minute remaining in regulation to cap off a nearly 10 minute, 84-yard drive that iced most of the fourth quarter.

Junior defensive back Treyvon Mills had three sacks and helped stop an Eagles' score by forcing a fumble after Kennedy's Carl Zallow ran 33 yards into the red zone.

"We all had heart," Mills said. "After we hung a goose egg on Hubbard in the second half we knew that's the effort we needed the entire night.

"I pulled everything I had. I'm just thankful for this win."

To start the fourth quarter, Michael Roscoe hit Zallow for a 31-yard pass that set up a Roscoe 1-yard touchdown run - Kennedy's only score.

Dante Munno caught four passes for 48 yards, as Roscoe was 12 of 17 with 116 passing yards.